UK Mortgage Approvals Highest Since 2007

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UK mortgage approvals increased to the highest level in nearly 13 years in August as the housing market gained momentum after the easing of lockdown measures and stamp duty reduction, data published by the Bank of England showed Tuesday.

The number of mortgages approved for house purchases increased sharply to 84,700 in August from 66,300 in July. This was the highest number since October 2007 and above economists’ forecast of 73,000.

However, this has only partially offset the weakness seen between March and June, the BoE said.

There have been 418,000 approvals in 2020, compared with 524,000 in the same period last year.

While this buoyancy may last for a few more months, the current spike in demand is likely to be short-lived, Andrew Burrell, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

With the economy fragile and concerns about the virus growing, lending is likely to fall back as soon as the backlog of demand from the spring is exhausted, the economist noted.

Data revealed that secured lending increased to GBP 3.1 billion from GBP 2.9 billion in July.

Net consumer credit borrowing remained positive in August at GBP 0.3 billion, following a GBP 1.1 billion increase in July.

Data showed that corporates borrowed GBP 0.4 billion of loans in August. Small and medium sized companies continued borrowing in August, and large companies started borrowing again after three months of repayments.

The monetary aggregate M4 dropped 0.4 percent on month, but grew 12.1 percent on a yearly basis in August.


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